There are a handful of really tired sports idioms that keep getting used for some reason. These are usually bad metaphors mixed with clunky coach speak. Terrible sports writers and analysts keep these crummy pieces of verbiage alive but we should just all agree to let them die. Here are three sports cliches that need to be retired ASAP.
1. Nut up or shut up
First off, gross. Second off, lame. Who coined this? It is just the ugly stepbrother of “go big or go home” which is kind of fun in a surfer/skater way but that’s it. I don’t want to hear the word “nut” in any game unless we are talking about a squirrel mascot. Plus, I don’t know who you are but don’t tell me to shut up. I never shut up. Ask my friends. I’m going to keep not shutting up for the rest of this article.
2. Giving 110% (or any variation on this, 150%, 200%, etc)
This is true John Madden nonsense. It’s corny, overused and illogical. Obviously, we understand the meaning here of giving your all, but the higher the percentage you quote, the dumber you sound. I don’t traditionally defend math but come on, have a brain. And If you are going to nerd out then you better be right. Or go the opposite way and exaggerate comically. But the ‘try harder’ message of this truly bothers me. So stop it.
3. Be a man
Besides the fact that this is a weak statement, the expression is rooted in misogyny which makes it total garbage. The trouble with stuff like this is that most people don’t pay attention to what language they use and many end up supporting some outdated prejudice. I’ve probably even used it before. Well, no longer. Beyond that, it isn’t even real advice. It’s mostly a proclamation from the speaker about their own ego and how fragile their sense of manhood is. An emotional coward with a child’s vocabulary. Be a man? Read a book. Dick.
I never want to hear any of these again. Please and thank you. There are tons of folksy expressions and clever tags that I truly love, and we should all be encouraged to expand our linguistic horizons. Not just copy and paste the same bullshit over and over. What sports talk cliches drive you up the wall? Drop your most hated in the comments.
The fat lady sings.
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